Westboro Baptist Church being allowed to perform the protests they do highlights exactly how much the US as a whole recognizes the importance of free speech. Of course I don’t agree with WBC, but it nonetheless underscores the high regard that first world nations have for folks to have the freedom to express themselves. Y’know its one of those ‘I disagree with what you say, but will fight to the death for your right to say it‘ type things.
Now lets compare this attitude to that of Surly Amy (Amy Roth) over at Skepchick. She was apparently reduced to tears simply because someone wore a Tshirt (see below). Not only that, she seems to be working on the delusion that she has the privilege that the rest of the world owes it to her to make sure she is never offended. In her own words:
“I think one of the most hurtful things I experienced while attending TAM was Harriet Hall’s Tshirt that she wore three days in a row. I told her through tears, in the speakers’ lounge, that it was dehumanizing and gender/color blind and very hurtful to me specifically as a person who does have to deal with harassment regularly.”
If you are banging your head on the desk in disbelief at the moment I just want to remind you that this is a girl who blogs regularly on skepchick, and has been supported by freethoughtblogs. She’s also the girl who makes those little ceramic pendants that many people wear (or maybe used to wear at conferences before Amy’s crying over a Tshirt antics). Indeed the only way I think you might have a chance of explaining her self-centered position to Amy is though the concept of reciprocation. How would she feel if I were to be in tears because of people wearing those little ceramic pendants at conferences, suggesting that they indicate people support her anti-freespeech position, and that merely wearing these pendants is ‘dehumanizing’ and ‘very hurtful to me’, with the clear expectation that everyone else should conform to behaviors that I do not find hurtful or offensive: anything less would just be hateful.
Yup, I’m pretty sure Amy would fairly quickly come around to the position that just because someone takes offense at a t-shirt (or similar), no how matter how hysterical the outburst, it really should have no impact on the way conferences are run.
Now it turns out Amy Roth has since issued a ‘clarification’. It’s often said that a clarification is not made to make oneself clear, but to put oneself in the clear. Regrettably that only works if you are honest and/or competent, rather than just the shamelessly self serving ‘Rebecca Watson’ type attempt to rewrite history.
So initially Amy writes:
July 17, 2012 at 11:32 am“I think one of the most hurtful things I experienced while attending TAM was Harriet Hall’s Tshirt that she wore three days in a row. I told her through tears, in the speakers’ lounge, that it was dehumanizing and gender/color blind and very hurtful to me specifically as a person who does have to deal with harassment regularly.”
Well that seems pretty clear to me as to what Amy thought the score was, and then one day later this becomes:
July 18, 2012 at 9:42 am “So know that just a ‘silly tshirt’ did not reduce me to tears. Sadly, there was a lot more going on.”
Yup in just one day, a T-shirt goes from “dehumanizing”, “gender/color blind” and “very hurtful” to now just a “silly tshirt”. Think someone is trying to shamelessly rewrite history there Amy!
But this is peanuts compared to the Skepchick dishonesty. Initially Amy writes:
July 17, 2012 at 11:32 am “I said I was glad she felt safe and that I wouldn’t have sent 22 women to the event if I didn’t think it was safe for them either. So who was she talking to?”
Bravo Amy for saying how you think TAM is safe. Great so what was all the ‘we want a policy and to lynch someone at TAM’ tantrum of FTB and skepchick all about?
Oh wait…. wait… Amy is about to retell the story….
July 18, 2012 at 9:42 am “I hope that Harriet will realize why it was so hurtful and why I was offended by both the front and the back. Some of us have been harassed at events and do not feel safe. The shirt was also hurtful to those in that context as well.”
Bravo Amy, Bravo (slow hand clap), so now we have two sequentially, mutually inconsistent accounts of ‘history’ from the same person, both given within about a day of each other. One in which TAM is safe, and that’s why you have worked to send people there, and in the other versions of ‘Skepchick’ history, where you worked to send people to an environment that was not safe, indeed that you worked to send women to an environment populated by “gropers and PUAs and drunk fumblers“. **SLOW HAND CLAP**
Amy concludes with this:
“I have a lot of respect for Harriet, I hope that at some point she will realize that she could have sent the message she wanted without using the name of the blog I write for in the wording and that it was unnecessary.”
“I will continue to try to be a better person and I will continue to try to help other people get involved and to set an example of kind, productive, proactive behavior in hopes that more people will follow my lead than the those who want to mock and belittle.”
The sheer double standards here is knee weakening! Not two posts from one her blog entries on Skepchick, Rebecca Watson is saying that people (notably myself and Paula Kirby) who disagree with them on reason based arguments, actually all think they are a Totalitarian Nazis clique. (FACEPALM)
Great Amy, so on one hand you are reduced to tears because someone uses the name of the site you blog for, and on the other you have no problem with that same blog suggesting that someones reasoned argument is invalid because you (skepchick) claim they think you are nazis. Wow a great double whammy there of professionally playing the victim and wholesale well poisoning. That’s right, professional victim Rebecca ‘rape threat’ Watson leading the Skepchicks effort to ‘set an example of kind, productive, proactive behavior in hopes that more people will follow my lead than the those who want to mock and belittle.’ by suggesting that those who disagree with her think they are Totalitarian Nazi. Damn not seen anyone so zealously eager to embrace victim-hood since dawahfilms.